I’m back for another bonus post. Once again, I’m about to combine two of my loves. Here, on Creole Bayou, I enjoy posting recipes that give me that homey feeling. I also enjoy tailgating. I’m one of the tailgating royalty. Honestly, not being biased (but I probably am), I think tailgating is in the DNA of all southerners. (Scream at me later, okay?) And what is at the heart of all good tailgates? Food, of course. Since I’m releasing a sports romance novel, Ice Gladiators, on 02/15/20 it only seems fitting that I bring the yummy snacks to my virtual release tailgate party. That led me to think about which foods I enjoy eating while watching a game at home or if I’m tailgating in the stadium. It didn’t take me long to come up with a few of my Creole/Cajun recipes that I whip up. These spicy treats will heat up any game day. They are also perfect for having while reading Ice Gladiators (just saying).
When starting any gameday, almost always poppers are on the menu. This treat has it all—heat, taste, and quick. The thing I love the most about poppers is that they can be dipped in a variety of sauces and can vary in heat from mild to scorching. There likely hundreds of recipes for this, and most are easy to make. Personally, I find not only that homemade poppers are tastier than the store-bought frozen ones, but they are also cheaper. I’ve had a few frozen brands that had a blah taste and all the coating crumbled off. The one below may look like it takes a lot of work, but really it doesn’t.
Hockey Jalapeno Poppers
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cilantro
- 2 tbs mint (fresh, chopped)
- 3 tbs butter (melted)
- 2 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 2 oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 2 oz pepper jack cheese (shredded)
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 bacon slices
- 12 jalapeno peppers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray non-stick baking spray on a medium-size baking sheet and set aside.
- In a medium pan, fry bacon until crispy and dice. Set aside.
- Vertically, slice peppers in half and remove the seeds.
- Rinse the peppers and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the peppers on the baking sheet.
- In a medium box, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, and mint. Mix well. Set aside.
- In a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and stir in panko bread crumbs and diced bacon.
- Fill the cream cheese mixture into the peppers.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and turns gold.
My brother hates guacamole. I don’t know what’s wrong with him because who dislike guacamole? I think he’s thrown off by the color or only has had that in the grocery store tub kind. Now, I’m not knocking grocery story guacamole, but I’ve found most of the premades to be lacking flavor and the texture to be too lumpy for my liking. Additionally, I like my guacamole at room temperature while most of the premade guacamole has been sitting in the refrigerator for days. Once cold, I find it takes a long time for it to reach room temperature again. My brother has never tasted my guacamole, and no one complains because they all divvy up his share.
Holy Hockey Guacamole
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic
- 3 tsp lime juice
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup red onion (diced)
- ¼ cup jalapeno peppers
- ½ cup roma tomatoes (diced and seeded)
- 4 avocados (peeled, pitted, and mashed)
- Slice the roma tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. After removing the seeds, dice and set aside.
- Peel and put avocado.
- Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the avocados in a medium bowl to the consistency of your desired choice.
- Add the cayenne pepper, salt, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno pepper. Mix until all ingredients are blended.
- Add tomatoes. Mix
What sports tailgate is complete without a big ol’ kettle of beans? This is a staple; do you hear me? This comes in especially handy if you are hosting a large group because it goes such a long way. Just whip it together, put it in a pot, and forget about it. This dish can be prepared days ahead of time and stored in the freezer for later use. Plus, this one saves a lot of coins. Now, if you want to take the time and have the patience, dried beans can be substituted, which makes this dish even less expensive. Actually, I have a friend who makes this recipe using dried beans. She soaks all the beans overnight and tosses everything in a slow cooker.
Hockey Kettle Beans
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
- ¼ tsp garlic (minced)
- 2 tbs bacon drippings
- 3 tbs Dijon mustard
- 2 cans pork n beans (15 oz)
- 2 cans kidney beans (15 oz)
- 2 cans Cannellini beans (15 oz)
- 2 cans pinto beans
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 large onions (diced)
- 1 lb bacon (‘cause everything is better with bacon, right?)
- 1 lb ground beef
- Cut the bacon into small cubes and cook in a large skillet, cook bacon until slightly crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.
- Drain the bacon fat into a measuring cup and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef until nearly done. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the beef is cooked thoroughly. Drain.
- Pour all ingredients in a slow cooker and mix well.
- Cook on low heat for two hours.
It’s fair to say that I love dips. Crockpot dips hold a special place in my heart because they can be prepared and remain warm for the duration of the game. It’s not uncommon for me to have several crockpot dips at a tailgate. Nearly always there is a chicken dip and a queso blanco dip. The key to this dip is stirring it until it is smooth. To help do this, I like to add my milk in parts and stir it in slowly. Skim milk also can be used, but to me, it does not make an as creamy dip. Oh, and a note about the cheese. If I’m serving a small crowd, I buy cheese from the deli, especially the pepper jack. The packaged cheese can be drying. I will caution against using imitation cheese. Imitation cheese tends to make the dip too salty and it seems to thicken faster once it begins to cook.
Queso Blanco Dip
- 1 tbs butter (salted)
- 4 tbs milk (whole)
- 6 oz white American cheese
- 6 oz pepper jack cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz green chilies (undrained)
- Cut cream cheese into ½ inch cubes.
- Add to the slow cooker
- Add American cheese, pepper jack cheese, butter, and green chilies.
- Cook on high for 30 minutes
- Stir well combined until blended.
- Add milk and stir until creamy
- Allow to cook until all the cheese is smooth and melted. (approximately 20 minutes)
These are some of my favorites. What are yours? What is your must-have game day snack? Tell all in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post and are interested in some of the other food-related blogs that I have posted, scroll below. Also, do not overlook participating in my giveaway.
- Coming February 2020… Ice Gladiators… Hockey so hot it melts the ice.
- Preorder: www.books2read.com/icegladiators
Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.
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